USDA Proposes Next Steps to Fairer Markets and Transparency

USDA has announced the next steps it’s proposing to address the many complex competition issues in agricultural markets and create a fairer playing field for poultry growers and farmers. USDA is proposing the “Poultry Grower Payment Systems and Capital Improvement Systems” rule.

The new rule would address a range of abuses that have occurred in relation to grower ranking payment systems, commonly called “tournaments.” It also addresses abuses of additional capital investment requirements that poultry companies commonly ask of their contract growers for broiler chickens.

This rule is the third in a suite of Packers and Stockyards Act rules that USDA has undertaken to create fairer markets, which ultimately will lead to lower grocery prices for hardworking families.

USDA is also announcing new publicly available cattle market transparency tools. These and previous actions are intended to enhance transparency, stop retaliation and discrimination, reduce costs, and support market fairness in every circumstance.

In a statement, Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall commented, “Farm Bureau appreciates USDA’s work to bring more transparency to the poultry industry. AFBF has long advocated for changes to ensure poultry farmers who contract with processing companies are treated fairly, and we’re glad to see many of our concerns addressed in the new rule.

“The current poultry tournament system puts tremendous pressure on farmers, while providing them little information and recourse throughout the contracting process. We are thoroughly reviewing the proposed rule to understand its full implications and look forward to submitting comments.”

Source: NAFB News Service

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